November 2016 archive

Tips on how to create an email that customers want to open – A Topshop analysis

Emails are now a really important aspect of marketing company products and services. It is crucial that the email stands out to the consumer and grabs their attention, as there is a vast amount of other emails to compete with in a single person’s inbox alone.

The great thing about email marketing is that it has made it so much easier for firms (big or small) to communicate with their customers in a really affordable way. However, in order to reap the benefits of email marketing – it has to be done right! This therefore means companies have to carefully consider their methods and tactics, as after all, the main difficulty is getting the consumer to open and read your email.

Case Study: Topshop

In order to effectively explore what makes a successful email, I have chosen what I think is a good example from Topshop. As most of us are probably aware, Topshop are a leading high street fashion retailer, therefore they are already a very popular brand. I am going to examine their e-newsletter which I am signed up to receive in my mailbox.

Here is a screenshot of the email that I received:



Perhaps the most important aspect of an email is the subject line, as this is the first thing consumers are going to see. It’s from this subject line that they will decide whether to open the email or not (Chadwick, F. & Doherty, N., 2010).


Topshop’s subject matter is ‘The puffer is back’ with the email sender being ‘Topshop’. This instantly makes me want to open and read the email as I know straight away what the email is going to contain and who it is from (Chadwick, F. & Doherty, N., 2010). The preview line then goes on to say ‘shop this winter’s most-wanted jacket’ which is another really important aspect of an email, as it gives that extra bit of information to the receiver as a clue to what the email will contain.

I now know just from the subject line that this email is going to contain Topshop’s new puffer jackets and that they are going to be very popular this winter.

Get more tips on email subject lines


Once opened, the Topshop logo is clearly displayed at the top of the page which is a very common and important aspect of an email according to Chadwick, F. & Doherty, N. (2010), as it reinforces the brand to the reader.


I am then greeted with a large image of a model wearing one of the puffer jackets in the collection. Images help to make emails more visual and capture the attention of the customer much more than just some text on a page. In this instance, it gives me a quick preview of the puffer jackets on offer and I therefore want to click to see more.


The call-to-action of an email prompts the recipient to take direct action, by clicking on the email to a hyperlink, that will take them to the landing page of the website (Mohammadi, M. et al, 2013). The language that is used in a call-to-action is probably the most important aspect, as the aim is to improve the click-through rates.

Topshop’s call to action is ‘SHOP PUFFER JACKETS’ in a very bold box that is hard to miss. This is important as the call-to-action needs to be clear. Also, the use of the verb ‘shop’ leads me to believe that if I click on this link, it will direct me to a page on their website where I can browse and shop their puffer jacket collection right away.

The landing page can be shown below. As expected, it opens up a separate tab with the Topshop website. The important part here is that it takes the consumer to exactly where they expect to go, in this case puffer jackets. Too often companies link consumers to a landing page that is just the website homepage, which is not a useful hyperlink at all. Examples for an effective call-to-action



One aspect of Topshop’s email that I think could be improved is the absence of any personalisation in the email. In order to help build a customer relationship, the use of the customer’s name is often quite an effective tactic that results in a higher interaction rate (Mohammadi, M. et al, 2013).

A good example would be an email I received from Easyjet:


This instantly grabs my attention and makes me want to read it more than if my name was not featured in the subject line.


Ellis-Chadwick, F., & Doherty, N. F. (2012). Web advertising: The role of e-mail marketing. Journal of Business Research. Vol. 65, no. 6, pp. 843-848.

Mohammadi, M., Malekian, K., Nosrati, M., & Karimi, R. (2013). Email Marketing as a Popular Type of Small Business Advertisement: A Short Review. Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences. Vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 786-790.